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Tropical Storm Nicholas forms in Gulf of Mexico, targets Texas coast

The National Hurricane Center issued a warning from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Port Aransas, near Corpus Christi.

The southern half of Texas' coast went under a tropical storm warning Sunday after Tropical Storm Nicholas formed in the Gulf of Mexico and began its approach.

The National Hurricane Center issued a warning for Nicholas from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Port Aransas, near Corpus Christi.

The storm, which was moving over the Gulf of Mexico at 13 mph, is expected to make a slower landfall. "The center of Nicholas will pass near or just offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas late Monday," the center said.

Winds are projected to reach a maximum of 40 mph, meaning Nicholas is not forecast to become a hurricane.

Tropical Storm Nicholas.NOAA

It is nonetheless expected to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain to parts of coastal Texas, reaching a maximum of 15 inches in isolated places. Southwest Louisiana should expect heavy rain by the middle of the week.

A storm surge watch was also issued for the South Texas coast. The hurricane center warned of "a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline" for the next 48 hours.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday that his office was preparing for storm.

"The State of Texas has deployed resources ahead of this tropical system, which is expected to impact the Gulf Coast beginning on Sunday," Abbott said in a statement. "I encourage Texans to follow the guidance and warnings of their local officials and be mindful of potential heavy rain and flooding."

CORRECTION (Sept. 12, 2021, 7 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled one of the cities in Texas that are under a tropical storm warning. It is Corpus Christi, not Corpus Cristi. It also misspelled the last name of the governor of Texas. He is Greg Abbott, not Abbot.